UK grocery retailer Somerfield has criticised the UK's Competition Commission over the provisional findings of an inquiry into Somerfield's completed acquisition of 115 stores from Morrisons, saying the Commission's analysis is legally as well as economically defective.

Somerfield's response to the Provisional Findings report criticised the Commission's methodology in determining that the acquisition of 14 of the stores would lead to a substantial lessening of competition.
 
Somerfield said that, based on the analysis set out in the Provisional Findings report, the Commission is unable to establish a substantial lessening of competition "to the statutory standard in respect of any of the markets affected by the transaction". The company added that the Commission therefore has no legal basis on which to order remedial action.

The final report is due to be published by 6 September 2005.

To read Somerfield's comments in detail, click here.